“The more you love your children, the more they learn to love others.”
Love is a powerful emotion and is necessary in the growth and development of children. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs lists love after food and security. Studies have shown that love makes your child physically healthier, increases your child’s brain development and it makes your child less fearful and more well-rounded. In fact, all aspects of a child’s development require a foundation of love. The question then is, how do you ensure that your child feels loved? Is telling your child everyday that you love her enough? According to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages of Children, “Every child has a primary language of love, a way in which he or she understands a parent’s love best.”
Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages are: 1) Physical Touch 2) Words of Affirmation 3) Quality Time 4) Gifts and 5) Acts of Service. Your child will benefit from all five ways of receiving love. However, knowing your child’s primary love language will help you become more effective in meeting her emotional need for love. Each of the five love languages have actions, ways of communicating, as well as things to avoid.
The child who’s love language is Physical Touch wants hugs, pats on the back, sitting close, cuddling and even wrestling on the floor. This love language is mostly non-verbal and pleasant facial expressions communicate love to her. Furthermore, is important to avoid corporal punishment and threats with this child.
The child who’s love language is Words of Affirmation appreciates receiving written cards and letters. The best way to communicate love to her is to speak encouraging words and compliment her. Emotionally harsh words and undue criticism should be avoided.
If your child’s love language is Quality Time, spend extra time with her. Running errands, taking trips, going on walks or even just sitting and talking makes her feel loved. She will enjoy quiet times without interruptions as well as one on one conversations. For this child, avoid too much time with friends or groups and of course, avoid isolating her.
If Gifts is your child’s love language, she enjoys both giving and receiving gifts. She remembers special occasions. Private gift giving communicates love to her. Forgetting special events is something to avoid with the child who’s love language is Gifts.
A child with the love language of Acts of Service enjoys assisting with chores and helping whenever she can. Communicating love to her is a matter of asking, “What can I do for you?” She also wants to know how she can help you. She feels unloved if you break promises or ignore her.
I can’t possibly do justice to the subject of love languages in this BLOG Post. And, because this is such an important subject, I highly recommend The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. There is a survey in the book that will help you discover your child’s love language.
It is important to speak all five love languages to your child. However, your child will crave one language more than the others. If you know the primary language and incorporate them all, your child will feel loved and will be able to love others.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Train up a child in the way he should go
When we think in terms of something being purposeful, we think it is done with intention, not haphazard. If it is purposeful, it is calculated and deliberate. If something is not purposeful, it is aimless, thoughtless or unplanned. You should raise your children in a purposeful manner because Purposeful parenting allows you to attain your hopes and desires for your child in a deliberate and intentional manner.
Do you remember the type books you purchased when you found out you were pregnant? I remember getting books on child development, breastfeeding, sleeping habits and of course colic…just in case. Yes, even as a nurse practitioner, I poured through these books. I read and reread these books so that I would be ready when the baby arrived. I was being purposeful and planning in the areas of child development, feeding, and sleeping. But, interestingly, I didn’t have any books on parenting.
You’re probably like me and remember the day your child was born as though it was yesterday. Our first child was born on a beautiful day in February. I walked into the Raymond W. Bliss military hospital Fort Huachuca, Arizona at 12:00 PM. The doctor said that by the time the shift was over at 3:30, I would have delivered our first child.
I was ready… I had purposefully planned the nursery and it was ready. I had been very purposeful in scheduling and attending Lamaze classes. I was very purposeful in practicing the breathing for each stage of labor.
Midnight came and I still had not delivered. A lot of things were running through my mind but I can guarantee you I was not thinking about the book on parenting that I hadn’t purchased. Purposeful parenting was certainly not on my mind.
Needless to say, the time came when we realized we were going to have to get a grip on parenting. If Dennis and I were going to raise fully functional adults, who could take care of themselves and make a positive contribution to society, we would need to “parent on purpose.”
I’m sure you have heard, “Babies don’t come with manuals,” and unfortunately, they don’t. But, as Ronald Reagan said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” We don’t think of our children as problems, but childhood is riddled with various challenges and it helps to know where to turn for answers.
We found the answers in the Bible and biblically based books. The Bible helped us achieve the primary purpose of parenting. It helped us parent in a deliberate and intentional manner. The Bible helped us stay focused on Purposeful Parenting.